Learning Instagram part 2: myths

November 10, 2023

Listen to Learning Instagram part 2: myths on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts 

This episode is the second episode of a 3-part series about learning Instagram. Today is all about busting myths. Specifically, I’m busting 14 myths (plus a bonus!) that I see and hear often about Instagram. 

In this episode about learning Instagram part 2: the myths are: 

  • You have to post daily to stay relevant 
  • The shadow ban
  • Switching to a business account hurts your engagement
  • You have to reply to all direct messages or else you’re penalized
  • Instagram only shows your post to 7% of people 
  • You are penalized for leading people off of the Instagram platform 
  • You are penalized for using all 30 hashtags
  • There’s no different between hashtags in the captions vs. hashtags in the comments
  • You can hack the algorithm 
  • You are penalized for editing a caption after posting
  • You are penalized If you delete a reel and then repost it
  • Brand partnerships and tagging accounts hurt how your content/account is ranked on IG 
  • Reposted content from feed to stories decreases story views
  • Who you follow on Instagram affects who can find your content on Instagram and who the algorithm shows your content to
  • What you see on your explore page affects what explore pages you show up on


  • you have to post daily on IG to stay relevant
    • here’s the thing about instagram, there are so many different ways to grow. while I do think there are many benefits to posting daily like: getting better at creating content (quicker), staying top of mind, finding what works vs what doesn’t faster, more content = more potential for “viral” content = more potential for growth. You can grow by posting 3-4x a week as well. As a business owner you have a lot of hats to where and there’s more to running a business than just posting content so it’s important for you to find a balance between visibility and growing your income/business. If you are in your business for the long run then having a more long term vision means making sure that your actions are aligned with that which means that you’re not here for overnight success. I’ve seen growth by posting 3-4x a week and I’ve had many students inside of IG University who have also grown by not posting daily — quality is important just as important as quantity
  • Shadowbanning
    • shadowbanning doesn’t exist. people use shadowbanning as a way to describe less likes, comments, slower growth, or anything that is negative that is happening on their IG account. Instagram says — “We can’t promise you that you’ll consistently reach the same amount of people when you post. The truth is most of your followers won’t see what you share, because most look at less than half of their Feed. But we can be more transparent about why we take things down when we do, work to make fewer mistakes – and fix them quickly when we do – and better explain how our systems work. We’re developing better in-app notifications so people know in the moment why, for instance, their post was taken down, and exploring ways to let people know when what they post goes against our Recommendations Guidelines.”
    • If you’re wondering if something is up on your IG account go to your profile on instagram > hamburger menu in the top right > settings > account > account status. if you have all green check marks then you’re good to go — if you have anything against your account then this could be affecting your reach and growth
  • Switching to a business account hurts your engagement or vice versa
    • switching from personal to business or business to creator or creator to business or creator to personal — you get the point, doesn’t hurt your engagement it’s actually a good thing to switch to a business or creator account so you can see insights and get access to other features
  • You have to respond to all DMs or you’re penalized
    • nope! it’s beneficial to respond to DMs because it builds community but you aren’t penalized if you don’t respond to DMs 
  • Instagram only shows your posts to 7% of people
    • there’s a myth that comes up every once in a while where people think that IG is restricting their reach (kinda like a shadowban) but instagram has came out and said “what shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as a timeliness of posts, how often you use instagram, how many people you follow. We never hide posts from people you’re following — if you keep scrolling, you will see them all.”
      • A great way to make sure that more of your posts are seen to have people turn on post notifications for your account and to make sure that they’ve added you to their favorites feed (you can have a CTA on a post that says — if you don’t want to make sure that you don’t miss out on any future content > tap the 3 dots in the top right of this post > hit “add to favorites” > and we will officially become besties)
  • Your penalized for leading people off of the IG platform (aka saying things like “tap the link in my bio”)
    • Instagram wouldn’t create a feature like the 5 links you can add to your bio if they were going to penalize you for people tapping your links or referring to people to your link
  • There’s no difference between hashtags in the caption vs in the comments
    • there IS a difference between hashtags in the captions and in the comments — adam mosseri the head of instagram said to put hashtags in the caption because it’s better for SEO. hashtags in the comments still work but for keyword searches, hashtags in the caption are better
  • You can hack the algorithm
    • you can’t hack the algorithm no matter what people say, yes there are tips and strategies you can implement but there are no hacks. it’s a computer system
  • You are penalized for editing a caption after posting
    • myth! you can edit a caption and it won’t change your posts performance. I do this a lot
  • If you delete a reel (let’s say because it was glitching) and then repost it you’re going to be harmed
    • myth — you can delete a post and repost it and it won’t change the performance of the second post 
  • Brand partnerships and tagging accounts hurt how your content or account is ranked on Instagram
    • not true— brand partnership content isn’t penalized BUT oftentimes it does experience lower views and engagement because it looks like branded content and oftentimes that’s different then other types of content you might be posting
  • Reposted content from feed to stories decreases story views
    • this isn’t true, instagram used to value reposted feed content on stories as less but they shifted things a few years ago so this isn’t the case anymore
  • Who you follow on IG affects who can find your on IG and who the algorithm shows your content to
    • I’ve seen recently on IG posts that who you follow affects who the algorithm shows your content to — the posts also mention that you should unfollow friends and family and only follow accounts that relate to your niche and industry. this is not true at all. yes, if you follow certain accounts you will see more of that type of content BUT that doesn’t effect who sees your account and content which leads me into the next and final myth which is:
  • What you see on your IG explore page effects what explore pages you show up on
    • what you see is determined by what you interact with, what other people see is determined by what they interact with. my explore page is filled with dog content but I am still attracting aligned followers each day that are around for IG growth and business growth

stay tuned for part 3, the last part of the learning instagram series!

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